Friday, July 1, 2016


Not us - it's the tractor.  Andy noticed it leaking calcium and starting to get soft out in the field and managed to limp it home before it went flat.  Always easier to fix a tire in the yard rather than out in the wild.

We're lucky to have garage not too far away that specializes in tires and particularly in repair of ag equipment tires.  It takes some special equipment, materials and knowledge to deal with those. The rear tires, fully loaded with calcium, weigh about 800 lbs each.  Even deflated they can squash you like a bug if they get away from you.  Having told them what size tire needed attention they came with the truck fully equipped and a spare tube in case ours was not fixable.

The specialized truck includes a pump, hose and tank to hold the calcium chloride solution the tire is loaded with (plus more to spare if we had lost a lot), an air compressor and hoses for the air inflation part of the job, and all kinds of big wrenches, bars, mallets and the like.

First they had to pump out the remaining liquid and air, then the tire was loosened and spun half off the rim so they could get the tube out.  Then they had to reinflate the tube to see where the leak was.  And there it is - right where the rim would contact a repair, so that likely wouldn't hold.  It was decided that a new tube was needed and having been told the tire size they had the right one with them.

The new tube gets pushed up into the tire, then the tire gets rolled back onto the rim.  The pail in the foreground has a slippery, pasty soapy material that the tire edge is slathered with so things will slide better.  The big bar he's holding has a flattened end and no doubt made specifically for this purpose.

It's a two man job.  The tire dealer's helper gets the tire started and holds it in place and then the other man levers a section back onto the rim.  If the helper didn't hold it the tire would perpetually slide back off one side rather than stretch to roll onto the rim.

Walking it onto the last section at the bottom.

Once the tube and tire are in their proper places the calcium chloride is pumped back in and then the tube is inflated the rest of the way with air.

Thankfully it only took an hour or so and then Andy was up and running again.  Good thing - this is the main tractor we bale with!

And now, just because we need something prettier than tractor tires....our rose, in full bloom.  It's 'William Baffin' from the Hudson Bay rose series.  It thrives on neglect and can take drought and hard soil.  Perfect for us!!

Here's to things that are self motivated and tough!


  1. Even having grown up on the farm I don't remember ever seeing a tractor tire get fixed before. Thanks for the education! My houseplants have to be like your rose, I did not inherit my mother's green thumb!

  2. I'm such a city girl. I had no idea tractor tires contained anything but air. I'm glad you could get it fixed, and that it did't happen when you were desperate to plant or furrow.

  3. Wow! William really outgrew his trellis! That's the kind of rose we all should have. Is it a repeat bloomer?